Friday, March 16, 2007

Democracy, Not Theocracy

Dear Friend of First Freedom First,

In a blatant example of what we mean by "Democracy NOT Theocracy," Gen. Peter pace, the Chairman of the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Chicago Tribune's editorial board this week that the "don't ask don't tell" policy is necessary because homosexuality is "immoral." Pace said beliefs stem from his "upbringing." Despite having his comments condemned from both Democrats and Republicans, Pace has refused to apologize for his remarks.

Regardless of your opinion of "don't ask don't tell," it is a shame that America's highest-ranking military official would base his argument for the policy on reasoning with such obvious religious undertones.

Until now, the policy has always been justified by troop morale, not morality. If that is the case, shouldn't Pace apologize for substituting his irrelevant personal beliefs for strategic military advice?

Many military experts like former Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman and Ranking GOP Committee member John Warner, "strongly disagree" with Pace's position.

Others, like retired Gen. Jack Keane say "morality was never the basis of the policy…it was about unit cohesion."

In fact, when Colin Powell endorsed it in 1993, he told the House Armed Services Committee "it is not our place in the military, those of us in senior leadership positions, to make moral or religious judgments with respect to homosexuality. Our perspective, and the only perspective we should bring to this issue, is the unique perspective of the military and what is best for military effectiveness."

Just about the only people supporting Pace's unsound stance are cash-cow Religious Right groups like the Family Research Council who find it "refreshing" that a public official would "speak the truth" about "morality" and put "principled leadership - not social experimentation - first."

You can help First Freedom First on this issue by writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. We've made it easy for you to tell those who want to legislate religion that America is a Democracy, NOT Theocracy. To quickly and simply submit a letter to the editor, click here.

Safeguarding separation of church and state and protecting religious liberty depends on people like you, and we're glad to have you on board.

Thanks again for your support!

All the Best,

Donna Red Wing and Eric Shutt of The Interfaith Alliance Foundation
Beth Corbin and Bethany Moore of Americans United for Separation of Church and State

"What makes us special and different from other countries is that our right to decide whether and how to worship is a private matter protected by the Constitution."

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